EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference Parallel Sessions: Session A – Blazing a trail: Innovation in cycle tourism


The EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference 2018 will take place on 26-28 September. In this series of articles, we present you the six parallel sessions of the conference, in which speakers from 11 different nationalities will address cycle tourism topics such as innovations, communication, infrastructure and intermodality. All sessions are linked to the theme for this year’s Conference, which is “Experiencing the Unique”.

Session A – “Blazing a trail: Innovation in cycle tourism” will take place on 27 September, from 11:15 to 12:45. This session brings together examples of innovation that are allowing visitors to enjoy unforgettable experiences on two wheels. These range from service providers coming up with tailored offers for cyclists, to the use of innovative marketing strategies to reach out to new audiences. Innovative approaches to governance can also be important to producing successful cycle tourism products while the use of the very latest technology in bicycle design can add significantly to the experience of tourists.

The speakers in this session are Wolfram Hinnenthal (Germany), Bart Gregoor, Johan Vanswijgenhoven, Eveline Sierens (Belgium), Camille Perretta (France) and Paul Cheese (United Kingdom). Read on to discover who they are and what they will be talking about in this session!

Wolfram Hinnenthal

Wolfram Hinnenthal is the Managing Director of ADFC Bett + Bike GmbH. ADFC stands for Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrrad-Club, a registered cycling association and club for cyclists, which is strongly committed to the change of traffic in Germany. ADFC is also the National EuroVelo Coordination Center in Germany.

Bett + Bike is a platform that makes it easy for cyclists to find a suitable accommodation. They can choose from about 5,800 hotels, guesthouses, youth hostels and campsites which are specially adapted to the needs of cyclists. Only those who meet the ADFC quality criteria are included in the website’s database. Bett + Bike has an app and is available in 9 different European countries. At the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference, Wolfram will give a talk titled Bett + Bike.

Bart Gregoor

Bart Gregoor, who comes from Limburg, is the founder and “véloromantiseur” of Café Coureur, a Belgian based bicycle shop, café and cycling events booster. This entrepreneur chooses to name himself véloromantiseur rather than manager because his job is to romanticize cycling races, and the term “manager” doesn’t carry this meaning.

In the events organized by Café Coureur, the experience on the bike is central. They want participants to experience the most beautiful sights during the race. The Café Coureur e-shop sells good cycling gear and cycling clothing that is both aesthetic and qualitative. Bart even set up a private label for Café Coureur, together with Bioracer, to promote his own brand. At the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference, he will give a talk titled Café Coureur. Bikefriendly lodging is not about a print of Eddy Merckx above the bed.

Johan Vanswijgenhoven, also from Limburg, is project manager at Click & Bike. As a young start-up, Click & Bike wants to develop smart solutions for electric bicycles. Their first solution started in 2015, the Kingo SmartBike, combines an e-bike, tablet and mobile app. This all-in-one approach offers tourists the opportunity to comfortably discover a touristic area by bike, without preparation. Now, Kingo offers two models that only differ in their display, available in the so-called KINGO SmartBike Stations – in Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg.

At the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference, Johen will present the Kingo SmartBike in a presentation titled E and Smart Bikes for Tourists.

Eveline Sierens final

Eveline Sierens is a socio-economic geographer. Since 2002 she is working at the tourism department of the province of Antwerp. She is leader of the ‘Route agency’. This team manages more than 8.000km of recreational bicycle-, walking- and equestrian routes in the province of Antwerp. In 2001 the province started with the system of cycle nodes. Today the network consist of 2.850 kilometers of nice and safe paths. The ‘Routedoctors’ maintain the corresponding signage and follow up notifications of users of the cycling network.

Eveline and her team also use the knowledge they have built up over the years to advise local authorities and entrepreneurs on the development of attractive route-products. Aside the traditional and still desired use of tangible maps, websites and online route platforms are the longer, the more used information sources. With this in mind, the tourism department of the province of Antwerp, together with publisher Lannoo, recently launched a digital route platform. At the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference, Eveline will give a presentation titled “The Cycle Platform: A Demand-Oriented Tool Based on Collaboration”.


Camille Perretta will give a presentation titled “Innovating Governance for a Peaceful Achievement”. After an Economic and International tourism development diploma from Sorbonne University (Paris), Camille joined the Vélo Loisir Provence team as a tourism project officer. Since 2014, she is coordinating “La Méditerranée à Vélo” committee. Meanwhile, she organizes and conducts community awareness meetings, and helps stakeholders in decision-making for tourism and bike projects. In September 2018, she will participate for the second time to a bicycle tour with a French association which aims to promote tourism by bike on “La Méditerranée à vélo – EuroVelo 8” towards the local populations.

Before Vélo Loisir Provence, Camille Perretta worked as communication officer at L’OCCITANE, where she was responsible for local partnerships and sponsoring. She also worked in Brussels for NECSTOUR coordination – a European network of 28 European Regions (Provence-Alpes Côte d’Azur, Tuscany, Catalonia, Limburg Province…). There, she experienced project management, coordination of networks, public relations and she developed her knowledge of European institutions.

paul cheese bikerophone set up

Paul Cheese is a musician, sound artist, producer, singer, songwriter and cyclist. He’s not what you might think of as your ‘typical’ cyclist, but in the last 5 years he’s cycled over 18,000 km. His solo albums have been written and recorded on epic cycle trips. In April this year, he cycled 2650 km (carrying 45kg of gear) along Eurovelo routes 11, 8, 5, 7 through Greece and Italy capturing the sound of fantastic locations along the way – and creating the first song for his new album.

At the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference, Paul will give a presentation titled Rock and Roll: An innovative approach to reach a new cycle tourist audience. Using examples of sounds recorded on his trips, and showing how they have then been used to create soundtracks and songs, Paul will creatively show how a cross platform approach – cycling, music, adventure, history, comedy and geography may be beneficial to target new audiences and look at new approaches to marketing campaigns.

The moderator for this session will be Ed Lancaster, Senior Policy Officer for cycling tourism and regional policy at the ECF. Ed, from United Kingdom, is a member of the EuroVelo team at the ECF. Prior to joining the ECF, he worked for various local planning authorities in South East England and gained a Masters in Urban Planning, which gave him a good understanding of both the opportunities and challenges for increasing levels of cycling.